ALBANY, N.Y. — New York’s newest laws will give the growing wine industry a boost, provide public workers on active military service more protection and give victims of drug overdoses a better chance to survive.

The state’s wine industry will get several of the measures it sought, but not the biggest: the sale of wine in grocery stores. Wineries will, however, be able to more easily open branch stores and mail bottles directly to customers nationwide. Farm wineries also will be allowed to provide what’s called “custom crush capability,” which will encourage smaller vineyards to enter the retail business.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it a “huge boost” for New York’s wine industry.

“Reducing the regulatory burdens on farm wineries will allow them to continue to thrive as a key tourism, agriculture and economic engine for our state,” Cuomo said Friday.

The bill’s sponsors, Republican Sen. Catharine Young of Olean and Democratic Assemblyman Robin Schimminger of Erie and Niagara counties, said the industry needed the bill to cut bureaucracy to make the next step in growth.

Public workers called to active military service will have their civilian jobs held for them under another new law.

Freshmen Sen. Greg Ball, a Putnam County Republican, and Assemblyman Robert Castelli, a Westchester Republican, landed the bill. It was introduced by the military veterans after two Army sergeants were dropped from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority payroll, Ball said.

“The last thing a deploying solider should have to worry about is whether he or she has a job when they come home,” Ball said. (READ MORE)

About Greg Ball

Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) is the Senator for New York State's 40th district. A former Vice President of Exceed International Development Corporation, Ball holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the United States Air Force Academy, is currently completing his Masters Thesis of Liberal Studies in International Affairs at Georgetown University, and received an honorable discharge in 2005 at the rank of Captain after service as an active duty officer in the United States Air Force. View all posts by Greg Ball →
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